Oct. 2, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota men's cross country team returns to action this Friday at the 58th Annual Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame's Burke Golf Course hosts the event with some of the most highly touted programs in the nation set to compete in the men's race. The Gophers will run in the Men's Blue Race at 4 p.m. CT.
|Notre Dame Invitational|
|Date||Friday, Oct. 4, 2013|
|Host||Notre Dame (UND.com)|
|Location||South Bend, Ind.|
|Course||Burke Golf Course (Map/Meet Program)|
|Time||4 p.m. CT (Men's Blue Race)|
|Course Length||Eight Kilometers|
Gophers Expected to Compete
Minnesota will send 14 runners to the Notre Dame Invitational: Alex Brend, Blayne Dulian, Troy Koivisto, Andrew Larsen, Riley Macon, Bob Nicolls, Cole O'Brien, Marcus Paulson, John Simons, Christian Skaret, Derek Storkel, Steve Sulkin, Josh Thorson and Adam Zutz.
Running with the Nation's Best
Minnesota will have an opportunity to improve its standing in the national ranks this weekend with eight nationally ranked Division I programs in the field for Friday's run. Among the teams are No. 7 Tulsa, No. 9 Princeton, No. 16 Colorado State, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 22 Notre Dame, No. 24 Virginia, No. 26 Florida State and No. 30 Columbia.
Last Time Out -- The Griak
John Simons paced the Gophers with a sixth-place finish at the 28th Annual Roy Griak Invitational last Saturday, improving his time and finish from his first Griak run in 2012. The senior finished the eight-kilometer course in 24:33.0 for the eighth-fastest time ever by a Gopher at a home eight-kilometer event.
As a team, Minnesota finished eighth overall in the Merrill Fischbiegn Men's Gold Race. Also scoring for the Gophers were Andrew Larsen (41st, 24:09.8), Adam Zutz (56th, 25:18.3), Derek Storkel (59th, 25:21.2) and Alex Brend (71st, 25:31.1).
USTFCCCA Honors Griak Runners
The Roy Griak Invitational produced five of this week's six USTFCCCA national athlete of the week award winners. The three women’s race individual winners, Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State (Gold Race), Runa Falch of Augustana (S.D.) (Maroon II), and Chelsea Johnson of St. Scholastica (Maroon III), were honored with their respective Division weekly awards, while the men’s Division II honor went to Kevin Batt of Adams State, who was a half-step from winning the Men’s Gold Race. Division III’s honor went to David Stilin of UW-La Crosse, who earned a ninth-place individual finish to lead the Eagles to a runner-up team showing in the men’s Maroon II Race.
Griak Feature: Martin Smith
Martin Smith is one of eight Roy Griak Invitational Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored at this year's meet.
Blankenship, Mead Shine in Olympic Finals
Mead and Blankenship recorded the best Olympic finishes by Gophers since Staffan Strand finished sixth in the high jump for Sweden during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
Ben Blankenship (1,500) and Hassan Mead (5,000) will run in Olympic finals on Saturday night.